Surge in coconut oil sales lifts PH export revenues

·3 min read

THE country’s exports grew by 15.2 percent from January to November 2021 to US$68.4 billion compared to the same period in 2020, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) preliminary data.

This is amid the lingering effects of Covid-19-related disruptions in the global economy.

Merchandise exports grew by 6.6 percent year-on-year, amounting to $6.3 billion in November 2021 alone from $5.9 billion in the same month in 2020.

Coconut product exports

The data also showed that coconut oil recorded the highest annual increase of 95 percent out of the 10 major commodity groups in terms of export value.

The country accounts for 60 percent of United States of America (USA) coconut oil imports and 73 percent of USA crude coconut oil imports.

The rise in demand, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), was due to changes in US trade policy, market trends and dietary guidelines.

In 2019, the coconut sector contributed more than $1 billion in export revenues.

Coconut, particularly coconut oil, was one of the top agricultural export commodities in 2019, placing the Philippines as the number one exporter of coconut oil in the world.

The Philippines maintained its global leader position in coconut product exports in 2020.

Philippine exports of coconut oil and desiccated coconut accounted for 52.48 percent and 35.91 percent of the global market, respectively.

“Over the years, the coconut food export landscape has transformed from traditional coconut oil into a higher value product such as virgin coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut chips, coconut cream, among others. Reportlinker expects the revenue for packaged coconut water to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 26 percent for 2019 to 2025. This is driven by the growing preference for coconut water as a healthy, natural, and convenient beverage,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The trend on health and wellness products has generally strengthened due to the health crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most sectors that are focused on health and wellness will continue to do well, according to the Euromonitor International Report.


Electronics exports in November 2021 amounted to $3.7 billion, which brought the year-to-date electronics exports to $42 billion, 14.2 percent higher compared to the same period last year.

According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the cumulative total of semiconductors sold through November 2021 reached $1.05 trillion, which is the industry’s highest-ever annual total.

Top Philippine electronics exports in November were components/devices (semiconductors), electronic data processing, other electronics, telecommunication and consumer electronics.

PEDP 2022-2027

To improve the country’s competitiveness in the global market, Lopez said the DTI is leading the drafting of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2022-2027 with an “overarching goal of transforming the country from an exporter of commodities and intermediate goods to an exporter of high value products and services.”

He said the new PEDP is “envisioned to take an industry development approach to boost export competitiveness, i.e. by attracting export-oriented investments in innovation-driven sectors to increase product and service diversification.”

The USA is the Philippines’ top export market in November with exports valued at $997.85 million with 15.9 percent share in the total exports, followed by China with $887.48 million (14.1 percent), Japan with $879.43 million (14 percent), Hong Kong with $833.60 million (13.3 percent) and Singapore with $360.68 million (5.7 percent).

Out of the top five markets, Philippine exports to China and Japan decreased compared to November of last year. / PR

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